Rita is my good friend's mom. She's Armenian, but she grew up in Iran. Every time I visit her, she cooks the most amazing food like this Indian Red Lentil Dal. On one visit, I begged her to teach me how to make this dish. She was delighted I had asked - but she didn't actually have a recipe to give me. She makes everything from memory and seasons according to taste. Rita showed me how to cook this red lentil dal while I took furious notes. I later worked out the quantities and perfected my own take on her recipe. This Armenian-Persian-Indian dish is one of my family's favorites. Serve with saffron basmati rice (with tadig if you can manage) and a generous dollop of plain yogurt.